5 reasons why the Vista upgrade may be a slog

A few good reasons why enterprises aren't jumping on the Vista bandwagon until late 2007 to 2008: --Training costs: Upgrade Vista, Office and Exchange at once as Microsoft would like. Sure why not?

A few good reasons why enterprises aren't jumping on the Vista bandwagon until late 2007 to 2008:

--Training costs: Upgrade Vista, Office and Exchange at once as Microsoft would like. Sure why not? The rub: Few actually factor in the training costs involved with an upgrade, says Frank Fanzilli, the former CIO of Credit Suisse First Boston who now is an investor in startups. "The bigger thing that's left out of budgets is user training," says Fanzilli. "You have to factor in user distraction and lost productivity initially." The cure: Wait a while. Let your employees upgrade their home PCs to Vista. The benefits are clear: Your workers will figure Vista out on their own time and save you some money.

--Hardware investment needed: A Merrill Lynch survey of 100 CIOs found that 41 percent say that Vista will require higher hardware requirements. These CIOs on average expect Vista to need 1.2 GB of dynamic random access memory compared to a pre-Vista configuration of 703 MB. Hard disk requirements are expected to jump to 128 GB from 80 GB today. Merrill's survey found 44 percent of CIOs would upgrade PC hardware along with Vista.

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--ROI is still sketchy: Although Microsoft is pitching productivity gains, actual test cases don't exist yet. Early adopters--also known as guinea pigs--have to share their experiences and have that knowledge filter through to their peers before CIOs jump in. Merrill Lynch's survey found that only 17 percent of CIOs plan to upgrade to Vista in the first year.

--CIOs are in no rush. According to Merrill Lynch's survey, 47 percent plan an upgrade in 12 to 18 months with 25 percent targeting a move to Vista in 18 to 24 months. Meanwhile, 2007 IT budget increases are expected to be 3.6 percent. Given how technology budgets fluctuate quarterly those aforementioned Vista timelines may move.

--Microsoft hasn't given a definitive date on Service Pack 1. To the enterprise a service pack from Microsoft is the equivalent of screaming: "Folks, start your upgrade!" Without a firm date, or even ballpark date, many CIOs will hang back and let the bugs work themselves out.